Wednesday, March 26, 2008
(Da Capo), by Stewart Gordon
During the Middle Ages, Western Europe was a backwater. In When Asia Was the World, University of Michigan scholar Stewart Gordon explores the fertile cultural interchange that crisscrossed the vast continent along a network of seaports and caravansaries, Buddhist monasteries and Islamic garrisons, through the accounts of a slender handful of Chinese, Arab and Jewish travelers. Stewart is a compelling writer, yet the book is too short to do his topic justice.